Sociocracy in Schools

Empowering youth in education

What is sociocracy in schools, and why does it matter?

Imagine a school where every student has a voice in decisions that matter to them.  A school where students can influence what is taught, the dress code, where to go on field trips, or even the school schedule. Such democratic schools using sociocracy as school governance to include students in decisions school-wide exist all over the world.

“I’m so glad to have found sociocracy- which is democracy, as it could be- to help with the subtle art of compromise.”

Hope Wilder, Pathfinder Community School

For classrooms

Tools and processes that support more democracy and participation in classrooms

For entire schools

How can everyone’s voice sing the same song – each in their different way?

Students problem-solving and decision-making

Consent decision-making, a way of deciding together where everyone is OK with the result, is a core part of sociocracy. This video shows a consent decision at a school using sociocracy about whether or not to rent a cotton candy (candyfloss) machine for a celebration. Watch how the students resolve objections and come up with a solution everyone can live with. From the film School Circles.

Empowering children through sociocracy grant

We’re excited to announce that SoFA has been selected to receive a $25,000 grant to help develop sociocracy with youth and in schools!

The grant will be used for:

  • Researching the effects of sociocracy in schools
  • Improving and creating new materials for imlpementing sociocracy with children
  • Creating the first Sociocracy in Schools conference on January 15th, 2022

We are hopeful that with the added energy and resources, SoFA can be a leader in supporting bringing sociocracy to the next generation.

Want more information? Contact Hope: [email protected]

General Resources for Learning and Implementation

Meeting posters

Having a visual makes every meeting easier to follow.
Use them in your meeting room, or laminate and bring along.

See posters (pdf)

Study group curriculum

The most affordable and easy way to train your all team!
4×2-hour sessions with exercises, readings, handouts, perfect for groups of 5-8 people. Video-led – just turn on the video and learn! By donation/coaching on a sliding scale.

Learn more

Talk to a real human!

You’re not alone on this journey! We can connect you to others who have done it before, or talk you through a strategy that works for your particular circumstances.

Learn more

Sociocracy Handbook

Written by the co-founders of Sociocracy For All. 300 pages.

More information and purchase options

Download our free booklet
“Sociocracy with Kids”

Sign up to our mailing list and download this free booklet.

In addition, our booklet Sociocracy – a brief introduction is available as a free download for those who are signed up for our mailing list.

Sociocracy with Kids Booklet Cover

Sociocracy in classrooms

Open Sociocratic elections for classrooms

A brochure for teachers who are ready to try consent decision making instead of an election using majority vote. 

Read booklet

 

Self-determination only with co-determination

An article about the importance of participation in decision making in education.

By Simona Zäh, Unico School, Switzerland

Read article

 

Consent decision-making for student voice

“The Conversation Series – Episode 1 – Audrey Cheynut – “Consent decision-making for student voice” by Learn to Change

Listen to podcast (external link)

Using sociocracy school-wide

What schools are using sociocracy?

Note: this list is FAR from complete! Email [email protected] to help us make it more complete (see map). Another resource to find sociocratic schools is Wondering School with a map.

 “Lectica has tested many other private schools – very good ones – and also public schools of high socio-economic level, but we have never seen scores like Rainbow. […] Rainbow students have remarkable ‘perspectival’ abilities to take the perspective of others, a core aspect of transformative learning.” Source article

Dr. Theo Dawson

How does one organize a whole school in circles?

Click through the images to see how others do it.

All Education-Related Resources in Sociocracy For All

Collaboration Shapes Education and Young Leaders

Collaboration Shapes Education and Young Leaders

by Lisa Praeg Strengthen youth leadership - Open election of class representatives as initiative Do you remember the last time you participated in a democratic election? What did you feel when you put down your vote? Have you been elected, or was someone elected for...

Lessons Learned on Conflict in a Sociocratic School

Lessons Learned on Conflict in a Sociocratic School

Conflict is hard, can lead to rifts in relationships, and also make an organization crash and burn. It can be all too easy to push disagreements under the rug, ignore intense feelings in order to keep going with running the business and accomplishing the goals of an organization.

Comparing Robert’s Rules and Sociocracy: How Consent Decision-Making Solves Some Problems From Parliamentary Procedure

Comparing Robert’s Rules and Sociocracy: How Consent Decision-Making Solves Some Problems From Parliamentary Procedure

The word democracy comes from the Greek “demos”, and is the shared rule of the people. The original meaning of democracy is a very large umbrella, of which majority rules is only one subset. Sociocracy, on the other hand, derives from “socios,” and means “the rule of the associates.” Sociocracy is one form of democracy as it could be, based on consent.

Clarity and empowerment: What is a domain?

Clarity and empowerment: What is a domain?

Domains combine clarity with flexibility, small groups with big picture thinking and alignment, empowerment of groups and individuals with responsibility. It’s a design pattern that we can use indefinitely – with a place for everything and everything in its place. 

Reiterating Sociocratic Models for Culturally-Competent Inclusion, Accessibility, Accountability, and Transparency (Sophie Xu)

Reiterating Sociocratic Models for Culturally-Competent Inclusion, Accessibility, Accountability, and Transparency (Sophie Xu)

Sophie Xu explores how to center historically and currently marginalized voices — especially those of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) — in existing and innovative sociocratic framework. She grapples with and examines the births of sociocracy, its linkage to whiteness, and how to render its core, identifying, and groundbreaking norms (e.g. consent-based decision-making) culturally-competent.

Conflict as a tension to steer by

Conflict as a tension to steer by

Conflict as a tension to steer by The unwritten rules in many groups are clear: Be nice, avoid conflict at all costs and, if a conflict arises, see it as a “personal problem” of one perhaps problematic individual. In sociocracy, we have the opportunity to see things...

Sociocracy’s potential in the process of collective (re-)awakening (Ellen Even)

Sociocracy’s potential in the process of collective (re-)awakening (Ellen Even)

If you are wondering how it could be possible for humanity to align its consciousness towards mutual understanding and fear-free development • If you are wondering why the combination of sociocracy’s clear rules and its great potential for empowerment enables the emergence of these processes • If you are interested in some practical examples of how you can nurture this culture, feel welcome to join my discussion!

Egg or hen – Sociocracy: an organizational approach or a manifestation of a mindset? (Armin Sieber)

Egg or hen – Sociocracy: an organizational approach or a manifestation of a mindset? (Armin Sieber)

Encouraged by positive experiences with various new forms to organize a school, we finally decided on Sociocracy 3.0. The organic adaptability of S3.0 provided a framework to incorporate useful elements from other approaches and, at the same time, to meet the need for orientation and “simplexity” in our VUCA world. So for us, it was egg first, maybe? Insights and questions based on our multi-year trip.

5 Ways you’re already using restorative practices

5 Ways you’re already using restorative practices

5 Ways you’re already using restorative practices and how to become even more restorative when using sociocracy    “Don’t tell anyone else we’ve trained, but this is by far the most restorative school I’ve ever seen.”    I was shocked to hear that from the...

Sociocracy with Children and Other People

Sociocracy with Children and Other People

Sociocracy with Children and Other People Lessons Learned about Effective Meetings and Community Building I deeply believe that children deserve the same respect as adults, and to that end, I started a learning community where every member has a voice, and we aim to...

Roles, jobs and salaries in sociocracy

Roles, jobs and salaries in sociocracy

On what basis do we decide salaries in sociocracy? Is it based on the sum of all roles? But how does that work? Or are there traditional “positions” in sociocracy too?

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